Banning Pakistan is Too Harsh a Punishment: Mark Taylor

Melbourne, Sep 1 (PTI): Pakistan may often find itself at the center of match-fixing rows but former Australian skipper Mark Taylor on Wednesday said it would still be "too harsh" to suspend the troubled nation as actions of a few cannot be held against the entire country. 

"I don't agree with that, I think it's too harsh a penalty for one nation," Taylor said. "If they have one person, two people, three people involved in match-fixing or fixing certain deliveries ... to throw the whole nation? No, I'm not for that," he was quoted as saying by Australian Associated Press.

Taylor said instead of banning Pakistan, the focus should be on punishing the guilty individuals. "You're always going to ask those questions," he said. "(If) you throw them out, when they come back you're still going to ask those questions.

"I think all you can do is penalize the individuals and embark on an education process and hopefully stop people from doing this sort of thing, but I think throwing the nation out of world cricket I don't think is right," he said. The former captain felt the menace of match-fixing, which has come back to haunt the game after a sting operation by a British tabloid that implicated seven Pakistani cricketers including skipper Salman Butt, is not limited to cricket only.

"(Match-fixing) is probably there in all sports. You can not monitor people 24/7," he said. "It comes down to education and it comes down at the end of the day saying 'if you get involved in it, the repercussions are going to be damning'."

But former New Zealand captain and ICC match referee John Reid felt banning Pakistan is the only option left as an example needs to be set for others. "I would make an example of them. You've got to," Reid said. "No, I'm not sad about these youngsters. You've got to penalize them, and make a job of it. They're good bowlers but if it's their career that goes down the drain, too bloody bad. They've got to be banned, and for life," he added. 


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